JENNYLYN MERCADO ON FHM MAGAZINE PHILIPPINES JANUARY 2016 EDITION
Our love affair with multi-award winning actress and sexiest in the land winner Jennylyn Mercado reaches a tantalizing climax in her fourth cover appearance. Gentlemen, we think you’ll agree when we say, This deserves a standing ovation This marks the 8th anniversary of Jennylyn Mercado’s FHM cover debut in January 2008. Looking back, a lot has happened to Jen since she first posed for us. She gave birth to a bouncing baby boy, starred in numerous television shows, and landed several endorsement deals. She busted out critically acclaimed indie flicks while at the same time conquering the box-office. On her spare time, she even managed to compete in triathlons.
Among all her triumphs and accolades, however, it was her Best Actress win at the 40th Metro Manila Film Festival that got her a premiere spot on the pop culture radar. The movie: English Only, Please, a lighthearted romantic comedy about a language tutor who falls head over heels in love with her non-Tagalogspeaking balikbayan student. Sounds pretty basic? Well, it is and it isn’t. Yes, it’s a conventional rom-com aimed to please a predominantly female movie audience. Yet it was an unexpected vehicle for Jennylyn to showcase her natural talent for inducing laughter that rode on the pulse of the zeitgeist—a generation all too obsessed with unabashed displays of emotion expressed through #feels and #hugot.
And since we’re on the subject, FHM was lucky enough to have its own public display of emotion when, last year, the magazine finally crowned Jennylyn Mercado Sexiest in the Land for 2015. So not only was she considered one of the most talented actresses of her generation, but she was exalted as the country’s finest female specimen. Indubitable sex appeal and award-winning thespian chops: a career combo for success. And here she is yet again, returning the favor tenfold. It may have taken a little over seven years for her to claim the top spot, but as you can see, it was well worth the wait.
First off, congratulations for being the Sexiest Woman in the Land for 2015! How did it feel? Thank you! Siyempre nagulat ako. Every year, I’m always either number 3 or number 5—somewhere in that range. So I didn’t really expect to win because hindi rin naman talaga naming kina-career yung sa voting. I’m not sure kung kina-career ng mga fans and the readers.
Well, based on the results, they did. When I found out the results, I was on my way to New York for a shoot. Naka-T-shirt lang ako kasi I needed to wear something comfortable for the long flight. Sabi ng manager ko that I had to do an interview before boarding—I thought the interview was going to be about my shoot so I agreed. All of a sudden, dumating yung media and they asked how I would feel if I won the number one spot on FHM’s 100 Sexiest list. Sabi ko, “Okay lang. Eh di, thank you!” Tapos ako na nga pala and then naglabasan yung staff ng FHM to congratulate me! Ano ba kayo? Sana nakapaghanda man lang ako! Sana nagsuot ako ng dress man lang di ba? Wala ako sa ayos! Ha ha!
We’re glad that we were able to surprise you and catch you off guard. Does being named Sexiest in the Land put pressure on you to keep your body in check? Oo naman. Kung number one ka, hindi ka pwedeng tumaba! Ha ha! Kailangan fit ka, alagaan mo dapat yung sarili mo. I put in double the effort to take care of myself.
What was it like performing at the 100 Sexiest Victory Party? How did it feel to be onstage with hundreds of adoring fans screaming your name? They requested that I sing, that I do a song number, so I did. Mas kinabahan ako dun sa paglakad!
Why? I’m not very confident walking in high heels. Sanay ako wearing flats. Pag naka-heels na ako, ibang usapan na yan! I’m always afraid that I’m going to fall. Nasa isip ko palagi, “Shit, madadapa ba ako?” or “Dahan-dahan lang…” Iba yung nerbyos!
Well, the nerves didn’t show at all during the party. And your body, as always, was pretty tight! Can you tell us more about how you stay in shape and keep yourself sexy? I really don’t do diets so I need to work out more than usual. Mahilig ako sa sweets and I’m the type of girl who eats hindi yung hanggang busog lang, kailangan punung-puno yung feeling. I went into extreme sports because bagay siya sa body type ko. It’s effective because I lose weight with minimal effort. I just need to finish training and the race tapos petite na ako! Ha ha!
Are triathlons as mental as they are physical? Yes. It’s 90 percent mental. I’ve joined a lot of races where it felt like it wouldn’t end my brain was already telling me: “You’re tired. Stop.” Tapos titigil ako at iiyak kasi gusto ko nang tapusin before my cutoff time. When you think you’re tired, magiging pagod talaga ang buong katawan mo at aayaw na siya. When you tell yourself that you can do it, you can really finish. Tapos parang kaya pa ng isang round ulit! Ganun yung feeling! That’s how I proved to myself that it’s mental more than physical.
How did your life change when you won the Best Actress award for English Only, Please at the 40th Metro Manila Film Festival? Wala naman! Things are still the same. There’s just more pressure because everyone expects na perfect ako umarte lagi. Ay hindi eh! Sorry! Forever pa rin akong nag-aaral when it comes to my craft.
What was running through your head when they announced your name during the ceremony? Finally! Sabi ko talaga sa sarili ko, “Finally!” First time ko gumawa ng comedy tapos dun pa ako nanalo. Eh ang dami kong ginawang mga heavy drama and I didn’t garner any acclaim so siguro nga doon na talaga ako papunta towards the lighter side of the acting world.
What excites you about doing romantic comedies? You’ve done and released three of them [English Only, Please, The Prenup, and Walang Forever] in the last yearand- a-half. Why does the genre appeal to you? For one, it’s lighter. Para kang hindi nagtratrabaho. Mas fun yung experience sa set. Hindi yung maya’tmaya sinasampal ka, sinasabunutan ka, at umiiyak. It’s different. I feel like mas nailalabas ko yung true self ko, yung tunay na ako. Light naman talaga kasi ako kasama in real life. This kind of work, for me, comes more naturally.
If it comes to you so naturally, do you ever see yourself in the characters you play in these romcoms? Yes! The character of Tere in English Only, Please, that’s me! Let me share the story of how that character came to life. That role was very experimental because during the shooting of that film, hindi ko alam na meron pala silang hidden camera rolling sa loob ng dressing room ko. So nakukuha nung camera yung mga times na ginugulo ko si Derek [Ramsay], yung mga staff. And then after, tinawag ako ni direk [Dan Villegas] tapos pinakita niya sa akin yung footage. Sabi niya na yun ang gawin ko, yan si Tere!
There’s this notion that men don’t enjoy rom-coms, but what sort of lessons can guys pick up from watching these kinds of films? Kasi pag romantic comedy films, nakokornihan or nababaduyan ang guys. Pag sa girls, gusto nila kasi nakakakilig. I think men should watch these films for a change. They should try to absorb what goes on in the story. Kadalasan, what happens in the movie is what can happen in real life. The truth is, relationships are and can be funny. As a couple, you’ll fight, but then you’ll laugh about it after. When you think about it, rom-coms kind of mirror how relationships are in the real world.
Walang Forever, which was shown in the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival, is your second rom-com under the direction of Dan Villegas. It seems like you’re his muse. What’s it like working with a talented filmmaker who is changing the game when it comes to this genre? Si direk Dan, pag nakatrabaho mo mukha siyang masungit, pero ang sarap niya katrabaho. Maloko siya kasi bata pa rin siya. It’s amazing to work with people who create that light environment. Para lang kaming naglalaro. Sorry for the term, pero para lang kami nag-gagaguhan on the set. He’s the type of director who feels what’s going on in the scene. He knows the emotions, asks you what you think, and taps into that. He gives you the freedom to play with the role.
This is your fourth cover for FHM and a lot has changed in your life since then. Does showing skin for the camera and channeling your sensual side ever get comfortable? Yes. It gets easier.
What has the experience been like? We first featured you as a StarStruck alum, and now you’re an award-winning, top-billing actress. You’ve kind of grown up with the magazine. Well, the first cover, that’s before I even got pregnant with my son. I even think I was pregnant during the shoot and just didn’t know it. That time, ayokong magpakita ng kahit ano! The second, nanganak na ako, so I had a lot of inhibitions because of my stretch marks from childbirth. Dumami yung limitations! For the third cover, which was a little over two years ago, I was already fit. I was more confident.
And what about this time around? You seemed to have your game-face on during the whole shoot. Okay na ako! I was super comfortable with the team, especially with Mark [Nicdao, photographer], who shoots most of my stuff.
Don’t you find it weird and kind of ironic that, the older you get, the more confident you are in your sexiness? Ha ha! Yes, it is kind of weird. I think it’s because marami na rin akong pinagdaanan and I feel like before, when I didn’t have a kid, medyo mataba ako so I wasn’t confident. Pero nung tumagal, I got in shape and became more conscious and confident with my body.
What advice can you give girls who are scared of getting in touch with their sexual selves? As long as you’re comfortable, lalabas na yung confidence. Embrace your body type. Embrace kung ano talaga at kung sino kayo. Mahalin mo lang yung sarili mo tapos positive na ang lalabas rin mula sayo.
Would you say that there’s a lot of acting involved in terms of posing for FHM? Do you need to get into a certain character? It’s more about movement and attitude. Whatever is going through your head should be projected toward the camera so the audience can feel it. Wala lang lines and walang damit masyado! Ha ha!
Now that you’ve been doing a lot of rom-coms, is there any fear of being typecast into a certain box? You know, the “she-can-only-doromantic- comedies-and-nothingelse” box? Okay lang sa akin. Walang fear of being typecast. Payag ako kung ako pa ang susunod kay Pokwang, ha ha! You’re naturally funny, which is needed in creating a successful romcom, but would you call yourself a romantic? Oo naman! Wala lang akong karomansa ngayon! Ha ha! Pero romantic talaga ako, maniwala kayo!
Lately, Pinoy pop-culture seems to be obsessed with the concept of “hugot”. What do you think are the positive and negative effects of being too open about and playful with our emotions? Sa negative muna—minsan sumosobra na. People sometimes expose their emotions too much. Sometimes it should be kept inside, be kept private. Yung tipong magpo- post ang isang tao sa Twitter ng hugot tapos iisipin mo “Ano’ng pinagdaraanan nito? Ano ba yan!” On the positive side, however, it’s nice because it can make you laugh. There’s a comedy aspect to it.
The latest movie is called Walang Forever. Sorry, but in the spirit of your new romantic comedy, we have to ask, naniniwala ka ba sa forever? No. Nothing is permanent in this world. Lahat naman tayo mamamatay di ba? Lahat ng gamit at bagay mawawala at masisira. Mayroong pang-lifetime, pero sorry, walang forever.
That being said, you were joking a while ago during the shoot that this will be your last cover for FHM. Why are you breaking up with us so soon? Ha ha! Hindi naman sa ganun. Hindi na din ako bumabata, so bigay naman natin sa mga mas deserving. I can say that doing FHM was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Baring myself for the camera used to be one of my biggest fears, but after doing FHM, when I saw how tastefully done the photos were, masasabi ko na naging tama ang desisyon ko. It’s rare that you’ll have an opportunity like this in your life, so might as well grab it. Minsan lang yan.
Download full of HD pictures Jennylyn Mercado on FHM Magazine Philippines January 2016 Edition here